[EDIT: The following lists changes made to the MRF Web site on 9/11/2007, deleting several of the additions of 9/10. Shortly after writing this, the MRF web site reverted back to a version from a week ago, with all the new material on filarial worms removed The full 9/10 text of these pages can be found here: http://morgellonswatch.com/about-2/mrf-filaria/ ]

Onchocerca cervicalis (Horse worm)It seems like someone at the MRF was a little over-eager to share their new theory with the world. Yesterday the MRF web site was suddenly changed from cautious suggestion that Morgellons is related to Lyme disease, to wide ranging speculation of animal worms and rare bacterial infections. These new theories are rather out of keeping with the prior tone of the MRF, and this make me wonder if a new hand is at the helm.

But then today, many of these statements were removed as quickly as they were added. Did cooler head prevail? Is there some internal debate at the MRF? Why are the thought processes of an organization being reflected on their web pages in this manner? Can the media continue to give the MRF any credence in light of these unorthodox claims?

The changes to the MRF are happening so fast that you probably never noticed them. Here are some of the more interesting changes between 9/10/2007 and 9/11/2007:

On the “Case Definition”, deletions in red:

This phenomenon is distinctly similar to the mass movement of microfilaria produced by intravascular adult Filaria typically between 1 and 4 AM.

5. Musculoskeletal effect is manifest in several ways. Pain distribution is broad, and can include joint(s), muscles, tendons and connective tissue. Both vascular and “pressure” headaches, and vertebral pain are extremely common, the latter usually with premature signs of degeneration (e.g., age 20) of both discs and vertebrae. All are characteristics of disseminated Actinomyces species

4. Acute changes in skin texture and pigment. The skin is variously thickened and thinned, with irregular texture and hyperpigmentation pattern. Hyper-growth phenomena are common (nevi, skin tags, microangioma, lipomas, callus formation and Morphea). A common characteristic of infection with Onchocerca cervicalis (A filarial species).

5. Arthralgias. Frequently reported, WITHOUT ARTHRITIS. Common joints are fingers, shoulders, knees and lower vertebrae. Common in chronic Dracunculus insignis infection. (A filarial species)

On the welcome page, this was removed:

Curiously, NO serious search for parasites exists in the published medical literature

also removed, regarding the CDC:

but without a plan to explore and define the true illness they are intending to address. Although it is highly unlikely the CDC will have moved beyond the initial RFP process when peer-reviewed papers reveal the nature, etiology and solution of this illness, we are pleased they are willing to explore it. There will always be a large amount of verification and clarification work to be done as well as medication optimization.

Then the FAQ:

The actual unnamed disease represented by the Morgellons label is vastly different from DOP. A recent systematic study of similar patients has unequivocally verified infection in most with more than one species of zoonotic Filaria and all with unexpected overgrowth of a common commensal bacterium, Actinomycosis israelii. Both are treatable. The second large illness component found in these patients is indeed an episodic delusional state and a verifiable high prevalence of bipolar disease. Review of available NLM data corroborates only that the presence of delusion has been assumed the genesis of imagined infestation with parasites without ever having considered or tested for parasites. Use of even a Mattel microscope would have revealed the Actinomycosis spread, and a simple CBC and CBC will show the elevated monocytosis, abnormal red cell indices, frequently elevated calcium and low potassium.Available, but more specific tests readily reveal elevated inflammatory markers, elevated cytokines confronting chronic infection, and a chronic immune deficiency state resulting in activation of most herpes viruses, many zoonoses, and of course parasites of a still unknown number and species. Physical effects are to skin, brain, peripheral nerves, cardiac conduction, autonomic nervous system function, and hormonal effect. Debilitating subjective symptoms include local or general chronic pain, chronic malaise, and unusual but nonetheless well-documented dermal inter-plane movement of Onchocerca volvulus.

The typical skin lesions vary but fall into at least two distinct types. One consists of near-circular (about one cm) bluish colored scars that persist for decades but begin as one mm raised lesions followed by weeping ulcers. The second are eczematous-like. All occur most frequently on distal limbs or the back or face. The Filaria species commonly identified clearly create the second type lesion. The first, when lesions are in clusters, may be Actinomycosis or when not clustered, Filaria. Actinomycosis lesions may itch, but Filaria dermatoses itch with incredible ferocity.

Some physicians are attempting to treat patients with this illness, although they do not understand its cause. The disease we are addressing exists incorrectly labeled in medical texts as Delusions of Parasitosis. Because of this, cookbook clinicians will necessarily assume you are psychotic or delusional and look no further. In truth, prescription of psychopharmacological agents will help many patients with emotional discomfort…a real part of the illness. However, these drugs DO NOT address the actual parasite infestation readily treated with anti-helmenthics. Psychiatric drugs, again, do not address other components of the disease, but all may eventually respond to drugs that target the Chlamydophila species. THE LATTER REMAINS TO BE PROVEN.

As adequate funding becomes available, we are required by law to regularly post the progress and findings on the Foundation website so as each of us contributes, we can see the result.

These almost sound like the theories of George Schwartz, or perhaps Neelam Uppal. But my best bet is still William Harvey, although I think it’s odd that there is no mention of borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme). Harvey has previous given credence to a wide range of opportunistic parasitic infections based on borrelia burgdorferi infection reducing immunity.

Having looked at the deletions, lets look at something that is still there:

Is it contagious?

Science must answer that question to be certain. However, most data obtained to date strongly suggest this possibility. Its’ mechanism does not appear simple or straightforward. Suggestive data include its appearance in many family members, the finding of parasites, activation of infectious herpes viruses, and low-level identification of antibodies to various zoonotic bacterial antibodies. Many infectious agents can, of course, be transferred by intermediate vectors such as flies. But lack of these expected vectors in many regions of prevalence suggest silent inter-human transfer. The most recent strong hypothesis suggests that an inter-human infectious agent, easily spread by droplet transmission is initially responsible for creating a chronic immune deficiency state. Only such a state might account for the extreme number and types of activated agents that have become measurable and chronic. Its movement is likely silent because of the time for second-agent expression. If highly similar other chronic illnesses turn out to be generated by this initiating agent, the numbers infected are already enormous, so attempts at avoidance near useless now.

That’s rather a ramble, but I think that’s Harvey saying that it’s airborne transmission of borrelia burgdorferi , which causes a chronic immune deficiency state, which allows all these exotic parasites (the “second agents”) to infect you. He also suggests that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and a lot of other illness are also caused by this, and hundreds of millions of people are infected. This tallies with his paper: ‘Lyme disease’: ancient engine of an unrecognized borreliosis pandemic? , published by Medical Hypothesis, not peer reviewed.

20 Responses to “The MRF’s New Theory”

  1. Harvey also seems to be partly behind this:


    Check their “Helpful links” page.

  2. From the MRF’s Medical Advisory Board statements, Dr. Harvey says:

    The Morgellon’s phenomenon is real. It is also clearly devastating, life-shortening, and infectious.

    Yes, although there is no Morgellons Disease, or even a real medical condition by that name, there is a “real” phenomenon taking place. The phenomenon is the “belief” that Morgellons is a real disease or medical condition, and it’s not a new disease that is devastating in these people’s lives, but it’s the “belief” in that disease that is causing the ruin. Harvey stated that the Morgellons phenomenon is life-shortening. There’s no evidence that Morgellons is a disease, but it’s true that the “phenomenon” can be life shortening. How is this phenomenon life shortening? Who’s life has been shortened? The only lives proven to have been terminated prematurely are those that have ended because of suicide.

    From the MRF’s FAQ’s page:

    Experience and information from registrants leads us to believe the skin phenomena of Morgellons is not specifically dangerous, although possibly frightening and uncomfortable.

    If the above statement is true, why does Harvey say that the Morgellons phenomenon is “devastating, life-shortening, and infectious”. In my opinion, the belief that Morgellons is a disease, and the belief that it is “devastating, life-shortening, and infectious” has contributed to the fear and depression that brought these suicides about. Morgellons is not a disease, but the false ideas that are being spread about “Morgellons” can be deadly!

    Tall Cotton

  3. The “Is it contagious?” was also changed on the morning of 9/12.

  4. Hi, Folks!

    There is no any Morgellons! I don’t believe the Morgellons is a new disease.
    I had been studying this shit for two years and have now some interesting data.
    Also i have a lot of statistic data as types of beginnings, various pathogenetic aspects of symptoms, efficiency and inefficiency of various antibiotics, a lot of stat. clinical data(blood analysis,immune factors, indexes of homeostasis and so on).

    The main idea for today is what the cause of the disease is Gram-positive rod that belongs to order “Actinomycetales”.
    Actinomycetales mainly consist of:

    1.Mycobacteria spp.(inc. M.t-sis and various atipycal mycobacteria).

    2.Actinomyces spp.

    3.Nocardia spp.

    4.Propionibacterium spp.

    5.Bifidobacterium spp.

    6.Other, quite rare(Oerskovia, Gordonia, Rhodococcus, Tsukamurella, Actinomadura, Nocardiopsis, Streptomyces, Dermatophilus, Thermoactinomyces, Saccharopolyspora (Faenia), Saccharomonospora,Thermomonospora).

    The most likely causative pathogens: Actinomyces or Propionibacterium or Nocardia.

    I still need more statistic info on various aspects. It would be nice if you could share some to me.

    If you have some interesting or useful info or just want to discuss some ideas or share some thoughts with me, you can always contact me via e-mail or Skype.

    My e-mail:

    d _ a _ n _ b _ 8 _ 5 __ [at] __ m _ a _ i _ l [dot] r _ u

    (delete ALL underlinings from e-mail!!)

    Kiev, Ukraine.

    P.S. I speak: russian, ukrainian, english(isn’t perfect!) and german(a little).

  5. Dant, why do you think Morgellons is one disease? Is there any evidence of commonality amongst those who claim to have it?

  6. Could you please “be more simply in your words”. :) My english isn’t perfect. Thanks. ;)

    You mean that Morgellons could have more than one cause, i.e. for example bacterial +parasit?

    Or you try to say that different people could have different pathogens, i.e. one have Actinomyces spp. , but another one can have Mycobacterium avium for example with the same clinic?

  7. Not exactly, I mean is there “one thing” that is Morgellons? (not the cause of Morgellons, but “Morgellons” itself).

    Is there a “case definition” that is Morgellons? (or, is there a list of symptoms that cannot be explained by other things).

    I don’t think there is a good definition of Morgellons, and so there is no point in looking for a cause, since you don’t know what you are looking for the cause of.

    How do you define the patient population? Does every who SAYS they have Morgellons have it? What the if criteria for someone to actually have Morgellons.

    Name one person that has Morgellons.

    How many people have Morgellons?

  8. Ok. I have understood You.

    >Is there a “case definition” that is Morgellons?

    No, there are no any disease or “case definition” what could be called Morgellons, because Morgellons is fiction per se, associated with lack of qualitative diagnostics and competent med. specialists in most cases.

    > (or, is there a list of symptoms that cannot be explained by other things).

    Yes, for today this is just the list of symptoms like CFS or something like that.

    Another matter is that this list of symptoms is quite homogeneous and this list of symptoms could truly be the representation of some real disease with the abs. real name.

    About evidences of commonality:

    There are a lot of evidences of commonality.
    Most of amongst those who claim to have it, say that disease began from mucous(oral cavity, gynaecology, respiratory or gastrointestinal tract).
    A lot of people have the same blood indexes and other clinical signs.
    Most of people have an equally response on physical activity, oxygenation, various antibiotics, antihistaminic and vascular drugs,.
    And many other.
    Majority of cases displaying that this is endogenous infection, but in spite of everything a small number of contagious cases occurs.
    …….And of course this is confusing for today.

  9. Sorry, a lack of my english vocabulary don’t allow me to expound abs.(to the limit) logically.

  10. >How do you define the patient population?

    With the fully anamnesis research, symptom and clinical verifications(Believe me, very detailed research and verification).

    >Does every who SAYS they have Morgellons have it? What the if criteria for someone
    >to actually have Morgellons.

    There are no any Morgellons in Ukraine or Russia. Here this list of symptoms have some other names like CFS, VSD and other.

    The name doesn’t matter.

    If you are interested i can give you some links to russian-speaking community.

  11. Oh… and one more thing… You see Morgellons or CFS or VSD is not a static process. This is very dynamic process with…well i really don’t know how to say…. Like a huge system of equations with “n” unknown quantity and a lot of parameters, where n+1t determinant is time.

    So the disease must be considered as dynamic process. I think only at the end phase it could considered as the static process. By the way the main cause of misdiagnosis is slow dynamics of some diseases(and faraway end static phase).

  12. Morgellons is a vague list of symptoms. A fuzzy isosuface slice through the N-space of symptomatology. An artificial construct.

    But it’s one that a particular group of people gravitate to. A strange attractor for the chaotic mind.

  13. Michael suddenly feels a fu fuzzy isosuface slice through the N-space of symptomatology. An artificial construct.

    But it’s one that a particular group of people gravitate to. A strange attractor for the chaotic mind.

  14. Oh, Norman. Norman, I miss your comments so much, I can barely stand it sometimes. How’re y’all doin’?

  15. I was using mathematical language, since it’s a bit more international. The point being that the “case definition” is poorly defined, and encompasses a large number of current conditions.

    Like a Venn diagram – normally it’s the intersection of various symptoms that defines a condition, but in the case of Morgellons, it’s the union – which gives you a huge potential population, and is not really a disease.

  16. mathematical language, wtf is that? How about ENGLISH???

  17. Marg-

    no one really cares about your professional jargon. We all have them so mathmatical jargon doesnt impress many

  18. There is something about Onchocerca volvulus that the powers that be are desperate for us not to find out about. I don’t know that it is involved in Morgellons but other filarial parasites that were also imported into the New World with slavery, such as Mansonella perstans, might be. They warrant careful investigation.

    The following is a message sent to an American doctor submitting testimony to a DoVA subcommittee investigating Gulf War syndrome. The links leave no doubt that the involvement of onchocerciasis has been concealed.


    Would you please consider raising the issue of the absence of
    screening for onchocerciasis with the DoVA? I have managed to get a
    diagnosis and treatment in London, UK, but my American colleagues’
    reasonable requests for diagnostic investigations are being ignored.

    In 1980, onchocerciasis was reported by the ophthalmologist, probably
    an American, from the hospital on the Khamis Mushayt airbase where
    Stealth bombers were stationed during the 1991 Gulf War.
    (scroll down to letter #7 at the following link)

    Most residents of regions endemic for filarial infections have been
    exposed, at least to some small extent.

    Michael A Forgione, is Chief of Infectious Diseases at the hospital
    on the Keesler Air Force Base at Biloxi in Mississippi.

    He co-authored a paper describing onchocerciasis as an infection
    affecting “multiple organ systems” which is much the same as
    describing it as a “multisymptom illness”.

    “Background: Onchocerciasis is a chronic parasitic disease caused by
    the filarial nematode Onchocerca volvulus. Infection affects multiple
    organ systems . . . . . . . .”
    Coauthor(s): Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH, Professor and Head of
    Dermatology, Professor of Medicine, Professor of Pediatrics,
    Professor of Pathology, Professor of Preventive Medicine and
    Community Health, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School;
    Rajendra Kapila, MD, MBBS, Associate Professor, Department of
    Medicine, UMDNJ, New Jersey Medical School;
    Michael A Forgione, Jr, MD, Chief of Infectious Diseases, Instructor,
    Department of Medicine, Keesler Medical Center

    The Air Force Logistics Management Agency (AFMLA) is a USAF
    management think tank based at Maxwell AFB in Alabama. They report
    directly to the head of Air Force logistics in the Pentagon.

    According to AFMLA, military health risk assessors identified
    onchocerciasis as an endemic health risk prior to the deployment of
    troops to Arabia in 1990. This prediction led, in part, to the
    acknowledged overuse of pesticides during the conflict.
    (scroll down to the bottom of page 19 of the pdf to find)
    “Personnel were also exposed to the effects of the desert
    environment. Health hazards associated with the desert environment
    vary. Hazards which particularly worried military health officials
    were onchocerciasis (“river blindness”), bilharzias
    (schistosomiasis), malaria and strangely enough, rabies. River
    blindness was common in this theater and is caused when an individual
    is bitten by the black fly—an insect smaller than a common housefly
    that injects its larva into the bloodstream . . . . . . . .”

    It therefore follows that the US military predicted that
    onchocerciasis, presenting as multisymptom illness, would become
    symptomatic in large numbers of deployed personnel at any time
    following the required 18+ months incubation period. This is exactly
    what happened.

    Consequently, it is surprising that CDC commissioned Fukuda and co-
    workers to investigate a “mystery illness” that some claimed was
    afflicting Gulf War veterans, although it was already known that the
    likely cause was onchocerciasis. Nevertheless, Fukuda and co-workers
    failed to investigate a single veteran for onchocerciasis, that they
    described as a “multisymptom illness” in the US Air Force veterans
    they investigated.
    Fukuda K, Nisenbaum R, Stewart G, Thompson WW, Robin L, Washko RM, et
    al. Chronic multisymptom illness affecting Air Force veterans of the
    Gulf War. Journal of the American Medical Association 1998;280:981–8.

    That the involvement of onchocerciasis in GWS has been ignored, or
    even concealed, is not in question. The question is why? I submit
    that it is reasonable for Americans to demand that both the USAF and
    CDC account for themselves.

    Please bring this problem to the attention of Congress.

    Yours faithfully

  19. Jelly Babies, I don’t know if this matters, but a few years(3 or 4)back my husband and I went as chaperones on a school trip with the JrROTC and we stayed on the premises at a pretty shabby facility at Maxwell AFB. We toured every public aspect of the base. I am having MAJOR problems with my eyes and I am BLIND in one from a childhood accident. I was sent to a specialist because my optomotrist was VERY concerned about the stuff growing in my eyes. The specialist she sent me to, she wanted me there that day, but it was the following day before I could go, said it was a simple case of Penguicula. I have always thought if Penguicula is so common, then why did my local opt. send me to a specialist? He also said it WOULD NOT cause any vision problems, that it was just cosmetic. I am having serious VISION problems. We also spent the day at another AFB in Alabama on that trip, I will have to find out the name of it. Also, my brother was in the Air Force and stationed at Keesler, in Biloxi. I also used to date,a long time ago, a man that was in the Reserve, that went to Keesler once a year, but mainly Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg, MS. Also, my brother went to Biloxi and worked for close to a year after Katrina hit, he had sores on him when he came home and he stayed with my family for several months. I don’t put alot into that because he is a drug user, but he has been incarcerated for over a year and still has the sores. I started having lesions in August of 2005, they started on my back, the vision problems started about a year ago. One more thing, I was in Florida in Feb. after Katrina hit, then again in April. I have relatives that visit from Biloxi, and from Mobile. If you have any info that could enlighten me, or my doctor, please, please send it to me @ v.mattie2@gmail.com. I would be very greatful! I have been in contact with several military personnel that were in the Gulf War. I have been talking to and taking samples to a parasitologist at a nearby university. He said that there was stuff, like leishmaniasis, coming back with our soldiers, that particular infection fits my symptoms, exactly, but I can’t be tested for it because I have not been out of the country. I read somewhere, I’m sure I saved it, that a dermatologist in North Texas had at least 9 confirmed cases of Leishmanisis from people that have NEVER left this country!!!! You are so right!!! Tell me how to help and I will!!!! The parasitologist also thinks that I had horsehair worms in many of my sores. He was flabergasted, and said it wasn’t supposed to be, but he was positive it was. He also found other things, but he always said it was nothing definitive. I took him a BLACK FLY that I got out of my bathroom, and HE HAD NEVER SEEN ONE LIKE IT!!!! He had been communicating with me on a nearly daily basis, and all of a sudden he backed way off!! My friend, not knowing that I didn’t want her to tell him, told my md who the Parasitologist was and what university that he worked for. I am nearly positive that my doc contacted him and ask him not to make my DELUSIONAL problem any worse. I know that he was helping me on his own time, and may not have gotten permission from the administration to be analyzing my samples. But I will tell you this, he said I DEFINITLY had something going on, and that it was MULTIPLE, and he had not seen alot of the things that I brought in and they were the most intriguing samples he had ever seen, then BOOM, no more contact.!!!

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